The Brilliance of Black Boys
Cultivating School Success in the Early Grades
Brian L. Wright Shelly L. Counsell James Earl Davis
Teachers College Press
2018 NAME Philip C. Chinn Book Award Winner!
This much-needed book will help schools and, by extension, society to better understand and identify the promise, potential, and possibilities of Black boys. Drawing from their wealth of experience in early childhood education, the authors present an asset- and strengths-based view of educating Black boys. This positive approach enables practitioners and school leaders to recognize, understand, and cultivate the diversity of social skills of Black boys in the early grades (pre-K–3rd grade). Each chapter begins with a vignette to illustrate what is lost when Black boys are prevented from participating freely in boyhood, having to instead attend to adult and peer interactions and attitudes that view them as “bad boys” and “troublemakers.” This accessible book provides teachers with classroom strategies to help young Black boys achieve their highest potential, along with other resources for supporting their social-emotional development, such as a reading list of authentic multicultural children’s books with Black boys as protagonists.
- Challenges deficit views of Black boys in order to transform the way schools and society think, talk, and write about them.
- Provides culturally responsive strategies for engaging Black boys and fostering healthy self-identity and agency.
- Discusses the importance of critical self-reflection to examine attitudes and practices that inform how teachers engage with children and families.
- Examines how school officials, beginning in early childhood, can stop the adultification and criminalization of Black boys.
Brian L. Wright is an associate professor and program coordinator of early childhood education in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership in the College of Education at the University of Memphis. Shelly L. Counsell is associate professor of early childhood education at the University of Memphis and coauthor of STEM Learning with Young Children.